A Canadian woman who made waves three years ago with her criticism of her native country’s health care system is back at it, this time on behalf of an anti-Obama campaign run by a pair of billionaire oil barons.

Shona Holmes became something of a household name in 2009 with her story of seeking treatment for a brain condition in the U.S. after she faced long wait times for surgery in Canada.

Now she is campaigning blocks away from where President Barack Obama is to appear at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., urging voters to toss Obama from office and overturn Obamacare, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Holmes' new campaign is funded by the Koch Brothers, the billionaire owners of Koch Industries who are the principal sponsors of the lobby group Americans for Prosperity (AfP). The group has launched a $27-million effort to oust Obama, including an ad featuring Holmes describing her experience. CNN reports that more than $6 million of that fund will go to airing this ad.

In the ad, Holmes quotes a doctor who reportedly told her she would be dead if she waited for her appointment in Canada.

"I knew then that the system had become far more dangerous for patients than I had ever realized,” she says.

“Under President Obama, America’s health care is becoming more like the Canadian system, that failed Shona,” the ad says in large lettering towards the end.

CBS News refers to that assertion as “false.”

The ad pushes the false assertion that the U.S. health care law is government-run like Canada's. In fact, the U.S. law is insurance-based and runs through the private market, while Canada's is a public system largely run and administered by the government.

When Holmes took a similar message to the U.S. in 2009, during the debate over Obamacare, she found herself in the centre of a political firestorm on both sides of the border. Critics attacked her for overstating her medical condition, with Ian Welsh writing in the Huffington Post that her condition — a Rathke’s cleft cyst — was hardly the life-endangering “brain tumour” her supporters had claimed. She had the cyst removed at the Mayo Clinic in 2005.

Many in Canada saw her as a “sellout” who “betrayed” Canada for political gain in the U.S. (a sign of just how deeply the country’s universal health care system has become ingrained as a part of Canadian identity).

Holmes complained at the time of receiving death threats from Canadians.

"It's just absolutely asinine that somebody could speak out about their beliefs and be lynched," Holmes said in 2009, as quoted in the Globe and Mail.

In the U.S., Holmes became “the darling of conservatives and the stop-public-health-care movement in the United States,” the Ottawa Citizen reported. “She's testified before Congress, been on Fox TV as well as CNN, and her story is retold on hundreds of right wing blogs.”

Though the AfP ad draws a parallel between Canadian health care and Obamacare, there are many significant differences between the two schemes. The Canadian system — composed of a patchwork of province-run health insurance plans — provides universal coverage, while the Obama plan does not. And while Obamacare relies on private health insurers to cover those who would otherwise not be able to afford it, Canada’s system features government-run health insurers that do not have a mandate to turn a profit.

As of 2006, the U.S. spent $6,714 (U.S.) per capita on health care; Canada spent $3,678 per person.

Despite the differences in costs, the countries have remarkably similar health care outcomes. In a recent comparison of disease survival rates, Canada was found to lead the U.S. in 11 different medical conditions, including leukemia and kidney and liver transplants, while the U.S. outperformed Canada on six others, including breast and cervical cancer.

Hey, Canadian readers: Tell Americans what they should know about health care in the Great White North. Leave your ideas in the comments section and we’ll publish a selection of your best responses later this week.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • 1912

    Former President Theodore Roosevelt champions national health insurance as he unsuccessfully tries to ride his progressive Bull Moose Party back to the White House. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

  • 1935

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt favors creating national health insurance amid the Great Depression but decides to push for Social Security first. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • 1942

    Roosevelt establishes wage and price controls during World War II. Businesses can't attract workers with higher pay so they compete through added benefits, including health insurance, which grows into a workplace perk. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 1945

    President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees. The American Medical Association denounces the idea as "socialized medicine" and it goes nowhere. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • 1960

    John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue but as president can't get a plan for the elderly through Congress. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • 1965

    President Lyndon B. Johnson's legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs: Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1974

    President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance. The Watergate scandal intervenes. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

  • 1976

    President Jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

  • 1986

    President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost. (MIKE SARGENT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1988

    Congress expands Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and catastrophic care coverage. It doesn't last long. Barraged by protests from older Americans upset about paying a tax to finance the additional coverage, Congress repeals the law the next year. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1993

    President Bill Clinton puts first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in charge of developing what becomes a 1,300-page plan for universal coverage. It requires businesses to cover their workers and mandates that everyone have health insurance. The plan meets Republican opposition, divides Democrats and comes under a firestorm of lobbying from businesses and the health care industry. It dies in the Senate. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1997

    Clinton signs bipartisan legislation creating a state-federal program to provide coverage for millions of children in families of modest means whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid. (JAMAL A. WILSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2003

    President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people. (STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2008

    Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan. (PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2009

    President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress spend an intense year ironing out legislation to require most companies to cover their workers; mandate that everyone have coverage or pay a fine; require insurance companies to accept all comers, regardless of any pre-existing conditions; and assist people who can't afford insurance. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • 2010

    With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. Republican opponents scorned the law as "Obamacare." (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • 2012

    On a campaign tour in the Midwest, Obama himself embraces the term "Obamacare" and says the law shows "I do care." (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • President Barack Obama and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., enter the East Room of the White House, to attend a Health Care Summit with members of Congress, March 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., listen to President Obama’s remarks during the Health Care Summit in the East Room of the White House, March 5, 2009. Seated at left is Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Health Care Summit in the East Room of the White House, March 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama talks with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, following a health care meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 30, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with Senate Democrats to discuss health care in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 2, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with, from left, Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, June 10, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama's signature is seen on a health classroom wall at Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wisc., June 11, 2009. The staff at the school, where the President attended a town hall meeting on health care, left a note asking him to sign the wall for future students to see. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama speaks with Charles Gibson during a taping for a nationally televised town hall meeting on ABC in the East Room of the White House, June 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama answers questions during a health care reform town hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., July 1, 2009. Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is seated at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama pumps his fists while talking with senior staff in the Outer Oval Office, July 13, 2009. From left, Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office of Health Reform, Peter Orszag, director of Office of Management and Budget, Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, in the Outer Oval Office, July 13, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with nurses and Members of Congress in the Oval Office, prior to a health care event, July 15, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hold a conference call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office, July 17, 2009. Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, palms a basketball at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable discussion with health care professionals at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., July 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama answers questions during a health care town hall meeting at Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio, July 23, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

  • Members of the audience listen as President Barack Obama addresses a town hall meeting on health care insurance reform at Gallatin Field in Belgrade, Mont., Aug. 14, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama and Jon Favreau, head speechwriter, edit a speech on health care in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in preparation for the President's address to a joint session of Congress. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama is applauded by Members of Congress, as he steps to the podium to deliver remarks on health care to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with, from left, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senior Advisor David Axelrod, Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office for Health Reform, and Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, regarding the health care vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, in the Oval Office, Nov. 7, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama arrives at the Cannon House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to discuss health care with the House Democratic Caucus, Nov. 7, 2009. He is accompanied by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, left, Reggie Love, the President's personal aide, and Wilson Livingood, right, the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama arrives at the Cannon House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to discuss health care with the House Democratic Caucus, Nov. 7, 2009. He is accompanied by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, left, Reggie Love, the President's personal aide, and Wilson Livingood, right, the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama preps with staff for an upcoming health care meeting with U.S. Senators in the Oval Office, Dec. 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, talk in the Oval Office, after the U.S. Senate passed health insurance reform, Dec. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama gestures during a conference call on health care in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., for a conference call on health care in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama pauses during a health care meeting with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 15, 2010. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., is seated at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate event at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., Jan. 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors on health care strategy in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2010. Attending, from left, are Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer, Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office for Health Reform. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama bows his head during the invocation at the nationally televised Republican House Issues Conference in Baltimore, Md, Jan. 29, 2010. With the President on-stage, from left, are Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama discusses a point with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during the nationally televised bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform at Blair House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

  • President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., during the nationally televised bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform at Blair House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama walks from Blair House to the White House, following the bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform, Feb. 25, 2010. He is accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama greets doctors and nurses following his remarks about health care reform in the East Room of the White House, March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

  • President Barack Obama edits a health care speech with Jon Favreau, director of speechwriting, in Favreau's West Wing office at the White House, March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama fist-bumps a medical professional in the Green Room of the White House, prior to the start of a health care event, March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with New Democrat Coalition Congressional leadership in the Oval Office, March 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama speaks about health care insurance reform at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., March 8, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • A member of the audience holds a "Thank You" sign during President Barack Obama's speech on medicare fraud and health care insurance reform at St. Charles High School in St. Charles, Mo., March 10, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss health care reform in the State Dining Room of the White House, March 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama meets with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, aboard Air Force One en route to Cleveland, Ohio, March 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama checks his BlackBerry as he walks along the Colonnade to the Oval Office, March 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Dan Turton, deputy director of Legislative Affairs, left, and Sean Sweeney, confer as President Barack Obama talks on the phone with a Member of Congress in the Oval Office, March 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama discusses health care reform during a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, March 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama discusses health care strategy with Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama talks on the phone with a Member of Congress, while en route to a health care event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., March 19, 2010. Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, rides with the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama calls a Member of Congress to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama works with Katie Johnson, his personal secretary, in the Outer Oval Office, while Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, talks on the phone, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama calls a Member of Congress about health care reform from the Oval Office, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama talks on the phone with a Member of Congress about health care in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama calls a Member of Congress to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • President Barack Obama listens to Dan Turton, deputy director of Legislative Affairs, during a health care strategy session with advisers in the Chief of Staff's Outer Office at the White House, March 20, 2010.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Katie Johnson, President Barack Obama's personal secretary, leans into the Oval Office to alert the President to an incoming phone call, March 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)